Four formal rounds of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations took place in 2010. They involved over 200 officials from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Brunei, Peru, Vietnam and Malaysia. Future negotiations officially are set to include three issues with public health and medicines policy implications for Australia and our region: ways to approach regulatory coherence and transparency; how to benefit multinational and small-medium enterprises; and multilateral investor-state dispute settlement. US-based multinational pharmaceutical companies are lobbying for TPPA provisions like those in the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, which reduce government cost-effectiveness regulatory control of pharmaceuticals, threatening equitable access to medicines. They also advocate increased TPPA intellectual monopoly privilege protection, which will further limit the development of Australian generic medicine enterprises and restrict patient access to cheap, bioequivalent prescription drugs. Of particular concern is that proposed TPPA multilateral investor-state dispute settlement procedures would allow US corporations (as well as those of other TPPA nations) to obtain damages against Australian governments through international arbitral proceedings if their investments are impeded by Australian public health and environment protection legislation.
The incidence of new HIV infections in Asia and the Pacific will soon pass that in Africa and is projected to increase into the next century. The AIDS epidemic arising from these infections will have enormous consequences for the health and socioeconomic development of a region encompassing more than half the world's population.
Needle-fish are slender silvery fish with long pointed beaks. They are commonly seen swimming beneath the surface near fringing reefs in the Indo-Pacific area. Such areas are also frequented by Melanesian villagers. The speed of needle-fish, together with their tendency to leap out of the water when bright lights are used for fishing and at other times, occasionally result in deep, penetrating injuries to swimmers, waders, and, in particular, to fishermen who are working at night from small canoes. Injuries from needle-fish are a relatively common occupational hazard of subsistence village life in Oceania, and probably also for some fishermen in other coastal environments, such as those in Japan and Malaysia.
During the 10-year period 1974-1983, 68 patients with intraperitoneal haemorrhage as a result of the rupture of a corpus luteum were managed at the University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Most of the patients were aged between 18 and 35 years. In 63% of the patients the rupture occurred between the 14th and the 35th day of the menstrual cycle, and 10 patients had intraperitoneal bleeding severe enough (450-1500 mL) to require blood transfusion. The condition is often confused with other surgical emergencies such as appendicitis and ectopic pregnancy. An increased awareness of the problem in women of reproductive age and the use of laparoscopy, when indicated, will allow a more conservative approach to be adopted for those patients with minimal bleeding. The performance of an appendicectomy in the presence of blood in the peritoneal cavity did not appear to increase morbidity in those patients with a preoperative diagnosis of "appendicitis".
A case of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome that originated in Malaysia is reported. The patient presented with clinical symptoms which were not typical of the disease as seen in endemic regions. Renal involvement, which is characteristic of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, was mild, and the predominant symptom was a persistently marked elevation of serum transaminase levels that was suggestive of hepatitis. Liver involvement has not been described in the Asian form of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. The patient developed a petechial skin rash and had severe thrombocytopenia. Serological confirmation of the diagnosis of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome was obtained by the demonstration of significant antibody rises to hantaviruses in the patient's acute- and convalescent-phase sera.
While a prisoner-of-war in Malaya from 1942-1945, a 29-year-old man developed a painful sensorimotor neuropathy, bilateral central scotomata and sensorineural deafness. Examination 34 years later, after a long period of adequate nutrition, revealed considerable residual deficit. Nerve conduction studies suggested axonal degeneration with prominent collateral reinnervation. This case of Strachan's syndrome is reported to draw attention to the limited functional recovery and to focus attention on this condition at a time when famine conditions are rife in Southeast Asia.
A study of 300 Malaysian women who were fitted with the Copper-7 intrauterine device is presented. Two per cent of the acceptors were nulliparous. Insertion was easy in 97-7% of the cases and the side effects were minimal. In a study of over 4,634 women-months a low cumulative expulsion rate, at 12 and 24 months of use, of 3-1 and 3-6 respectively, was observed. However, relatively high cumulative rates of pregnancy of 4-3 and 9-2 occurred at 12 and 24 months of use respectively. Out of a total of 19 pregnancies, in 12 cases the device was found to have descended, a finding not commonly reported. One woman experienced translocation of the device five months after insertion, and in this instance, the device was removed by laparotomy. The findings in this study and their implications are discussed.